British envoy acknowledges epidemic fight in Wuhan visit, eyes healthcare cooperation with China

British Ambassador to China Caroline Wilson has just finished her four-day visit to Wuhan, Central China’s Hubei Province, which was hit the hardest by COVID-19 in the country early this year. During the visit, she acknowledged the city’s efforts in containing the coronavirus and expressed a wish to see cutting-edge cooperation between Hubei and the UK.

Wilson launched Wuhan vlog, which started with a visit to local hospitals that treated many COVID-19 patients during the epidemic, where she learned about how doctors and nurses spared no efforts in saving critical patients, including a 105-year-old patient.

During the visit, the ambassador attended a videoconference between Wuhan Union Hospital and Swansea University Medicine School, in which medical workers from both countries discussed their anti-epidemic experiences, according to the short video she posted on China’s Sina Weibo on Wednesday.

Wilson also visited landmark buildings in the city including the Moon Bay resort that was co-designed by the British architect Zaha Hadid and a Chinese design studio. She also visited museums and historical sites and spoke with university students, medical staff and British businesspeople in the city.

“Wuhan had a very difficult time but now people are enjoying life again. I know it’s not an easy task,” Wilson said in Chinese during her visit. She spoke highly of Wuhan people’s aspirations and great ideals in bringing the city back to life after experiencing its challenges.

During her stay, Wilson also attended a seminar on promoting bilateral economic and trade ties co-chaired by the British consulate in Wuhan and the city’s commerce bureau, where she outlined the UK’s business environment and advantages to Wuhan companies, and learned about their needs in cooperating with British firms.

The ambassador said Wuhan is an open city and British brands are very popular here. She hailed the achievements on cooperation between Hubei Province and the UK, and hoped to deepen cooperation in fields such as trade, tackling climate change and medical innovation.

Hubei Province and Northern Ireland, Wuhan, Manchester City and Swansea City have established relations as sister regions and cities. Presently, more than 100 British-funded companies, including BP, Standard Chartered Bank, and HSBC, have businesses in Wuhan.

Wilson’s visit came at a time when the Five Eyes alliance continues to pressure China on a wide range of issues including Hong Kong and 5G technologies and China-UK relations have seen a bumpy period. Wilson is the first ambassador from the five countries to visit Wuhan. 

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